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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    October, 2019 One Week Challenge  ›  Devil's Night Massacre - OWC Moderators: StevenClark
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  Author    Devil's Night Massacre - OWC  (currently 543 views)
Posted: October 11th, 2019, 11:18pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Devil's Night Massacre by My New Favorite Holiday - Short, Horror, Action - A couple fight for their lives when killers target them after their Devil's Night Halloween party. - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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Posted: October 12th, 2019, 3:10am Report to Moderator

Los Angeles
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This is really a female-empowered action script. And very correctly compared to Hunger Games. It's basically a horrible night thriller film more than it is a generic horror film. It''s about deranged people committing acts of mayhem and murder on Halloween night. Unfortunately that does indeed happen every year, so the  writer correctly captures that element. And because there's so much action going on, I'd be interested to see this short script expanded into a feature-length script with a bit more character development. It sure would make a great action film with the right cast and director.
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Posted: October 12th, 2019, 4:33am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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I have to disagree with the reviewer above. If there's a story here I didn't get it. No motivations or explanations. Just random killings. And it reads more like male fantasy than female empowerment. And you need a much bigger concept for a feature.

The writing was technically decent. But as for the story, perhaps someone else will see something I don't. The hunger games had a story - not random killings - which I think this is.  
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Posted: October 12th, 2019, 5:10am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

A helluva long way from LA
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Ha!  We have sex.   Seriously though - rocket paced action, easy to follow.  Your prose and dialogue are concise and inviting.   Nice job.   But, I assume you didn't post this just for praise. Constructive criticism time.  There are a few minor things here and there, but I won't nitpick too much, the story itself is thin.   JMHO. An interesting tidbit: horror is in the reaction of the victims, the dread of what's coming next.  It's not just about blood and gore and how grossed out you can make the viewer.  If you take away the shock factor, is it still frightening?  Anyhoo - I'd also consider killing the totally cliched detectives dialog.  “Jesus! She’s alive!”   It's unnecessary and distracting.

Kudos. I wish you the best of luck! -Andrea

"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

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Posted: October 12th, 2019, 8:31am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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An exercise in graphic sex and gore. Maybe that's all that's needed. It's still well written overall, Could have just said Carl and June instead of Dirty Doctor and Naughty Nurse, I 'spose, if that's the only real criticism I have.  Probably could use a few extra pages to build things up and/or to pace things out a bit. But that said, it is what it is.

"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss :
The Art!
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Posted: October 12th, 2019, 12:08pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Cool horror short. The fast pace and clean writing allowed me to breeze through this. No real hang ups on the writing front.

Not much to be said about characters. Didn't really get a good feel for them.

Liked the trio of home invaders.  Would have liked some sort of hint as to why they were killing people, but that's not really a big deal. It definitely works as it is.

Really solid work here.

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Zack  -  October 13th, 2019, 11:11am
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Posted: October 12th, 2019, 1:20pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Yes, that is my real hair...

Cave Creek, AZ
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Logline is ok, and the best yet, IMO.

Title Page - missing a line under "by", and I do not like the "My New Favorite Holiday" thing at all.

Let's see what we have here...

Writing is good, so far, but I'm very confused, as we have Slugs of "SUBURBAN HOUSE" twice, but, we have what appears to be completely different characters, meaning I have to assume these are different locales - if that's the case, your Slugs are incorrect.

The POV is odd, as I can't really visualize how someone or something is looking through the window from the "rooftop eaves".

Ok, so, we all know I don't shy away from graphic sex or the like in my writing and I shouldn't have an issue with it here, but for some reason, I don't see the need here at all.

"Jagdkommandotri-dagger" - Uhhh, OK... Naughty Nurse is oblivious to her lover getting killed and a crazed killer in the room with them?  That, I do not buy for 1 second.

Page 4 - Ok, so this is all in the same house and some couple who you didn't properly name just decided to fuck in one of the couple's bedroom and they're cool with that?  I mean, this is a 27 and 30 year old who apparently own this house - I don't think they'd be cool with this.

Page 5 - The Slug is incorrect here.  We're not in the bedroom - we're in the Hallway, apparently.

Page 6 - Top Slug should be a Mini, as your transitioning into this new locale.

The "whisper" wrylies should be "whispering".

Many of these INT Slugs should be Mini's - if you're unclear how to use them, just ask, and I'll hook you up.

Page 9 - the old compound bow appears, huh?  That was part of her costume?  Really?  I don't buy that, but ok...

The Creepy Clown has a mask on, right?  How does this arrow go directly into his eye?  And are we to believe Amber is an expert compound bow markswoman?  LOL.

Page 10 - Ok, we've got alot of action taking place and for the most part, it's well written, but look at how all your passages begin - with a name or "They".  Amber does this.  Crazed woman does that.  They both do this.  You need to break these up somehow for a better read.

Detective Lewis is quite impressive to make Detective in his 20's!  Little young, I'd say.

The end.  Ok, so this is well written for the most part - far better than most!  There are lots of issues with the writing, but that can be cleaned up pretty easily.

Story-wise, not much here, really.  This comes across very much like "The Strangers" 1 and 2, but without any characterization.

Amber's prowess with the compound bow is beyond convenient, but hey, I get it, anything can happen...and anything can happen plot-wise, too.

This works for what it is, but for me, it's missing the things that make scripts/films memorable, which is the little things.  I also think you went for too much graphic stuff, in terms of violence and sex - yeah, they're needed, but sometimes they come off as too much, or just not realistic.

Best so far, though, so good on you.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Posted: October 12th, 2019, 1:29pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

Southern California
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Decently written for sure in terms of all the nitty stuff. Action lines were clean and crisp.

The cop dialogue was poor and a bit illogical.


Quoted Text
What the fuck happened here?

Lewis takes her cap off and scratches at her hair.

Fifth one tonight.

Why would he ask what happened here when it's the fifth one that night - he knows!

I didn't really care about anyone. May be my problems with horror and not the writers - seem to always contain a bunch of folks getting whacked that I don't care about it.

My Scripts can all be seen here:
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Reef Dreamer
Posted: October 13th, 2019, 5:12am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Proud owner of a Simply Scripts face mask ...

The Island of Jersey
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logline - it's ok, but I suppose a little bit more would be enticing

not heard of a devils night before, but seems a cutural thing

quite like your copyright!

the opening scenes, switching between two different locations slightly threw as to where we are, different house for not etc - lets see if it becomes clear. yes it does

ok, lots of action, lots of characters, creepy clown etc - and I like the way you made the characters clear like that - but I never saw a 'why' element.

I know its probably in line with genre, but the old no phone cover, or locked gate on exit, did feel a bit blunt

I suppose if you have the one 'mad' character you can buy into the sense that they are without immediate purpose or reason - there just nuys. but when there seems a team of people trying to kill others, I am inevitably left with, why? what for? etc

so, not for me.

I feel on screen we would have a random couple having sex, lots of people fight and die without reason - the end. Perhaps that just demonstrates why I'm not good at this type of script etc

otherwise, sound work for a week and clearly a talent for action

My scripts  HERE

The Elevator Most Belonging To Alice - Semi Final Bluecat, Runner Up Nashville
Inner Journey - Page Awards Finalist - Bluecat semi final
Grieving Spell - winner - London Film Awards.  Third - Honolulu
Ultimate Weapon - Fresh Voices - second place
IMDb link...
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Grandma Bear
Posted: October 13th, 2019, 8:12am Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

The Swamp...
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"No cell phone signal!" This is possibly the #1 horror cliche nowadays.  

As far as story goes, there wasn't much there. Not surprised, Jeff liked it. There was sex and there was gore, but not much else, IMHO. I agree with Anon here, no motivation, no explanation. The writing was great, but I felt absolutely nothing in the end. Descriptive sex followed by some hack n slash and that was it. Judging by your writing though, I'm certain you can do much better story telling wise.

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Posted: October 13th, 2019, 8:34am Report to Moderator

Do you like to eat pie after a good movie?

The Great Southern Land
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I just lost my entire review. I hate when that happens! Note to self: write in text doc and copy and paste.

Abridged version: The writer has some chops for sure but should channel his talent into an original story. I know, it's a bit of fun but by hmm, page seven, I started scanning.

Every cliché in the book from who's behind the shower curtain, no cell phone signal, the low-tone explicit sex, to Crazed Woman and Creepy Clown and lines like: 'Die, you bitch'' - obviously intentional but not much of a satisfying story for me. Adding The Hunger Games seemed like an odd choice, maybe an afterthought quickly tacked on.

I loved some of the humour:

A little ways up the street, a SKELETON leans against a
parking sign pole, watching him.
He nods uneasily to the skeleton.

Do you see pockets in this outfit?

And the padlock remark.
Subtle jibes, but funny.

And it quite suddenly dawns on me I know who wrote this... Well, I think I do anyway.

Those action sequences are very well written. Newbs starting out should take note of your verb choices alone (when your characters are making their escape).

Now if only to channel the talent into an impressive tale as well. And make it scary. After all, slash and gore do not equal spine chilling scares. Just saying.

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Posted: October 14th, 2019, 2:19pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Hello there!

I liked it. I especially enjoyed some of your later decisions in act 3. Like: The stupid cops gave it a relaxing moment; then the back to dramaturgy beat as she laid down to die beside him, game over, just to give her that odd last survival of the fittest I'm alive shot - which was very in genre, had flair and gave massively style to the whole piece.

The upper page margin appeared too slim. And that was actually an issue to me since most pages were filled with those two liners from top to bottom anyway. Give us some rest for a second at page break :-)

And there's my only critique. I found it is quite a slow read. Not 100% sure why; thought a lot about it... and what strikes me is that you might be too over-descriptive with facial motions, gasps and so on. You also throw a lot of adjectives in that direction. Possibly there's too much stuff mentioned which anyway would appear in our reader's eye when following the plot. Then it may feel double in places if you know what I mean. Like, I often thought, 'yeah, (s)he speaks it out that character x's lip shivers' while I see the situation anyway. Also, I'd try to change the writing perspective in some scenes/shots to give it a variation. It was too often: A does 2 line paragraph, b reacts paragraph etc. There could be a certain variety 'from time to time'.

But damn, that whole point is no critique with regard to the OW timeframe. This wouldn't be fair.

Your performance is very good from my sight on things.

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
PrussianMosby  -  October 14th, 2019, 2:36pm
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: October 15th, 2019, 7:09am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Shakespeare's county
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...and we are back in a suburban home. Does no one live in the city anymore? villages? towns? flats? farmhouses? caves? castles?

Do these people not know they shouldn't have sex in a horror film? they are totally going to be the first to die.

Jagdkommando tri-dagger.... a what?

Quoted Text
Its twisted edges slide viciously into his head,
pinning him to the bed looking at her.
She bends down to stare into his eyes as his life leaves
him, his body still bouncing from Naughty Nurse’s

How can the blade enter his head from the direction of the woman, yet he is still facing her? I can't picture it...and when did she come into the room? she was just outside.

And now they are dead. Well, that's what you get for having sex in a horror movie.

Can you hiss with lips sewn shut?

Quoted Text
You’re serious. Jesus.

That was a quick realization - no more "what are you talking about? what woman? your making no sense? slow down? breath? - any of the normal reactions normal people would make... I'll let it slide I guess.

She's surprisingly good with a bow... it would be nice to know how.

The human-like traits of the attackers are taking away from the horror - the skeleton dropping easily, the clown smoking a joint - considering the woman entered the bedroom in a paranormal fashion, they are now coming across as your everyday pshyco-killer-nut-jobs.

Another with no reason or explanation as to why any of this happened - Some people come out with the "Yeah, but it's horror, it's allowed" - I say bullshit. You can get away with a lot in horror, and the explanations can be crazy - but there should at least be one.

Writing is great, good visuals and action and some tense moments - all good.
I just can't enjoy a story that offers me no explanation.

Well done for producing one of the better ones though

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Posted: October 16th, 2019, 8:07pm Report to Moderator

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So, everything in this is over the top. Good on you to commit to a style and stay with it.

Unfortunately, I'll have to agree: the story was empty.

It's too bad, because the action was pretty good. Yes, it was odd how skilled she was with the bow, and maybe a bit of explanation might have helped the moment... maybe she bashes the crazy's head with an archery competition trophy (and of course she'd choose a costume with a bow)? Or, you could have injected another joke. "Bad idea boys... attacking a three-time olympic archer." It wouldn't take much to make it believable.

All in all, pretty good effort. Random killings make for a no-heart story... which keeps this from being much better.

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Posted: October 17th, 2019, 6:14am Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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The title grabs me. Logline sounds interesting.

I hope there aren't any Hunger Games Mockingjay spoilers.

"Devilish eggs." Is this intentional or a typo? If intentional, it's cute and clever. I like it.

Quoted Text

A dark bedroom.


I had to look up reverse cowgirl. I assumed it was a sex position.

What the hell is a Jagdkommando?

I love the banter between Amber and Josh.

June is a person, right? Not the month?

TIL what a door jamb is.

Quoted Text

Josh and Amber hustle through the kitchen.


Quoted Text
Amber! Run!

There's a band with that name.

I have to admit that it's starting to drag. Either that or I'm tired/hungry.

The writing was pretty good, but you could have trimmed a few pages.

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Posted: October 17th, 2019, 12:59pm Report to Moderator

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Hello Writer,

This seems to be well written. You had many features of a horror story .   I would have liked to know why they were getting killed.  Why specifically them? I guess it could have been a random act of violence.
Good job on getting an entry in, and good luck!

All the best!  
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Posted: October 18th, 2019, 2:25pm Report to Moderator
Been around a while

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Well-executed example of a slasher flick. The only thing that distinguishes one movie from another in this subgenre of horror are the characters, and fortunately this one has excellent characters.
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Posted: October 19th, 2019, 3:09pm Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator

Vancouver, BC
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I had this idea early on but couldn't get it to work. Running out of time to write, I decided to just have fun with it. And I did.

You're all right, there's no story here. The targeting was always supposed to be random, and Amber was always supposed to be an expert with a bow, and like Paul pointed out, if you're great with a bow of course you'd cosplay as Katniss from Hunger Games. Plus, it's relatively simple to use CGI for arrow deaths and makes this budget friendly with the right skill set.

I had everyone die originally, but that was pointless. Amber survives, which is at least rewarding in some way, she killed the killers...but that's all I had. I'm glad the scores reflected the lack of story.

I did start a lot of sentences with a pronoun, something I try to avoid. Good on all of you who called that out, it's poor writing. I was rushed throughout the writing of this and never got a chance to massage it into something better.

Jeff, the only thing wrong with my slugs is I did miss a Hallway slug. I could have used minis but we don't have to, and it's better for automated reports if the slugs are consistent. However, despite my use of the dreaded "SUBURBAN HOUSE", they correctly denote each area of the house.

I did try to throw people off my scent after so many of you were able to guess my scripts towards the end of the Writers' Tournament. I think I managed to do that with this one.  

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